I decided a few years back that I really wanted to enjoy the cruising lifestyle on board a boat. With Maryse along side, I had a soul mate that also embraced the same dream. After a couple of return trips to the Bahamas I realized that the boat I had, although well equipped and fitted out, was not the boat on which I wanted to cross larger stretches of water. Hence the shopping began for a new boat.
The end result was the purchase of Ambition .... a beautiful Hylas 46.
Our 2002 Hylas 46
Monday, May 1, 2017
Arrival in Antigua
Guadeloupe to Antigua
We had a great run fro Marie Galante to
Falmouth Harbour, Antigua. The ride was about 80 miles and we ended up doing
much of it motor sailing as the wind was much lighter than the waves – meaning
that the leftover waves from the previous days were large and the wind was
about 10 knots which for us is a very light wind. Big waves spill the wind from
the sails leaving us underpowered so by running the motor at low RPM (1500) it
helps us move through the waves and we burn less diesel.
When we arrived in Falmouth Harbour it was
abundantly clear that the boats were assembling for the Antigua Classic Yacht
Regatta. To be considered as a Classic Yacht the boat had to have been built
prior to the end of World War II. The other criteria were that the boat had to have
a full keel and the rudder attached to the keel. Even if the boat was designed
and build after the war, on a pre World War II design, it had to meet these
criteria to be admissible in the races.
No matter what, the boats were very busy
having wood varnished indicated by the blue masking tape everywhere. The boats
are beautiful and I am sooooo thankful that Ambition has no teak to keep varnished.
We have learned to love our teak as a nice shade of grey! We once had a
quotation to have our teak rails that run the length of the bat sanded and 7
coats of varnish applied … US$15,000 …. I love grey teak!!!
There are a number of very famous yachts in
Falmouth Harbour with us. By far the yacht that is most widely recognizable is
the 288 foot long Maltese Falcon. This yacht was originally built for Tom
Perkins in 2006 and the three masts carrying 25,700 square feet of square
rigged sails are able to be rotated to the correct sailing angle. All sails are
managed by computer (I hope that they run on a Mac not Windows!) to determine
the perfect trim for the sea and wind conditions. She is available for charter
and the for the US$425,000 plus expenses, the crew of 19 will ensure that you
and 11 of your friends will be delightfully taken care of for a week!
Not to be outdone by the Maltese Falcon
crew, the boys on board Eros found the perfect spot to enjoy a sunset with a
cold beer….. probably not the best spot if you were going to have a lot more
than one, but a good spotnone the less!
There are 4 J class sailing yachts in the
harbor as well. These yachts were built during the years 1930 and 1937 to
compete in the Americas Cup races. The original boats were all made of wood but
these have been built of fiberglass and carbon fiber based on the original
designs by some very passionate owners as the dollars involved in sailing and
maintaining these yachts must be incredible. On shore at the yacht club you
will find at least 4 or 5 40’ shipping containers with the yacht name inscribed
on the side – these are their stockrooms of spare parts and workshops. They
follow these yachts wherever they go.
All these super yachts have one feature at least
that differentiates themselves from the rest of us sailing people. At night us
smaller sailing boats illuminate a white anchor light at night at the top of
our 75 or 100 foot tall masts to make sure we are visible, so no other boats
run into us at night while anchored. The mega sailing yachts illuminate a red
light at the top of their masts to ensure that airplanes do not run into them at
night! A subtle but significant difference no?